The saga of the new carrot bed

I won’t rest until I’ve knocked carrot growing on the head over at the allotment.

I am convinced that there is nothing like the taste of a fresh carrot pulled from the ground and eaten within a few hours. I am picking a few carrots from the allotment at the moment but when I think of the number of seeds I planted ….. don’t start me!

So this fine Monday morning I took a trip to Bunnings Hardware Store and bought a fresh packet of carrot seeds and a bag of washed horticultural sand (to lighten the soil).

I had to find a space for the new carrot bed somewhere within my 16 square metres of allotment. I have read that onions are great companion plants to go with carrots so I decided to put them alongside the garlic bed as garlic is “a species of the onion genus”. I read that somewhere.

I have also read that you plant carrots after a heavy feeder crop. No problem there, I had a bed of flat leafed parsley that was as high as an elephants eye and going to seed. And it was next to the garlic bed.

A perfect spot.

All I had to do was rip up the parsley. It had grown huge, and I already had the new row of parsley growing nicely so I could afford to despatch it to the compost bin.  So I thought. But by the time I had removed it all I ended up with a huge armful of parsley and it smelled wonderful. “Can’t waste that” I thought. So I put it in the car and will chop it and freeze it this afternoon, fine to put into my soups.

The rest was easy, I added the sand, raked it over, watered the seeds in and covered the bed with a layer of shade cloth to save the seeds drying out as they germinate.

Now I just wait.

I had just finished my labours and was packing up when who should walk across the farm but Tatiana from New Farm Library who also runs the Gardening Group there.  I showed her (modestly!) around my little plot and never passing up a photo opportunity I picked this (magnificent) cos lettuce for lunch and Tatiana took a pic.

A cos lettuce from my little plot

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deb
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 18:28:03

    Goodluck with the carrots. I cover the bed with wet newspaper and keep it moist till they have germinated. Then I lift it off and let them grow, grow, grow. I have been pulling them for months.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 03, 2012 @ 19:17:13

      Hi Deb, thanks for the tip. Wet newspapers. I have also heard of people laying a piece of wood across the drill while they germinate. I think the main thing is to keep them protected from the sun as the seeds are planted virtually on top of the ground.
      I have just left my first photograph on your blog, a day late. Now I know how easy it is I’ll be much quicker next week. As I mentioned, I’m going to set up a new blog for the photographs – just gotta find out how to link my new blog to my allotment blog, as you do.

      Reply

  2. narf77
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 19:05:45

    I dream of lettuces like that! 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 03, 2012 @ 19:20:38

      The only thing is I’ll be eating this lettuce for a week – and there are more ready to be picked – I would pass them on to other allotment holders but as often happens, they have their own glut. And if my eldest son is reading this – he doesn’t eat my lettuces because he only eats Iceberg. Where did I go wrong?

      Reply

      • narf77
        Sep 04, 2012 @ 07:24:51

        You only “went wrong” in not making heavenly Caeser salads! Make him a Caeser and he will be begging for your Cos! 🙂

  3. Imported Kiwi
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 20:39:30

    Hi Jean, I heard lots of people sow carrots with radishes (ie, combine the seeds then scatter them around). The radishes are ready much sooner and effectively thin out the carrots. I actually always let one carrot go to seed then just randomly scatter the seeds around so they germinate randomly amongst other vegetables. It works well as they don’t take up the same “growing space” and apparently it’s a good way to balance out the nutrients in the soil since you’d have both leafy and root veggies growing together.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 04, 2012 @ 05:09:04

      Thanks for all those carrot growing tips. Letting one carrot grow to seed would be better than making the trip to Bunnings to buy a packet. I do a certain amount of seed-saving but never thought to try it with carrots. I love the idea of growing the carrots randomly amongst other vegetables with all it’s benefits. I havn’t heard that one before. Definitely going to try it.

      Reply

  4. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 00:25:27

    Good luck with the carrots. I’m going to try the commenters recommendation about newspapers for next year. It sounds promising.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 04, 2012 @ 05:15:17

      Hello Heidi. Thanks for visiting. You might also want to check out the tips from Imported Kiwi as well. She has idea’s I have not tried before which I will definitely be putting into practice. I love the flavour of my own organic carrots and I’m determined to improve the harvest, so far it’s been a bit meagre, so I’ll be taking all these tips on board (as they say).

      Reply

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